One very large TSB buys another in a move designed to bring key benefits previously held by each of the two companies to the other.
Today, AppDirect is announcing the completion of a major acquisition, bringing TBI into the fold in yet another major acquisition for the company. It continues AppDirect’s strategy of broadening out their market by giving more channel providers access to the broader solutions catalogue that they offer. It also significantly expands their partner base and number of engineers, and gives them access to TBI University’s educational tools. TBI partners and customers get the use of both the AppDirect platform and that much broader solutions catalogue.
“There are five or six major companies who were TSBs out of the telecom space, and TBI originally built its business around telecom,” said Renée Bergeron, Chief Operating Officer at AppDirect. “AppDirect is also a TSB and also one of the largest, but we are also considered a distributor. Ultimately, we are both, a multifaceted platform company which makes us an indispensable advisor at all stages of an organization’s growth. In addition to the size of our engineering capabilities – we have over 300 engineers – comes the power of the platform. This is not just procurement of a technology solution.”
Bergeron emphasized the strong complementary capabilities between the two companies.
“They are based in Chicago [AppDirect is LA] and bring a very strong midwest presence as well as northeast,” she said. “That’s very complementary to us. They also have a very deep bench of engineers. In addition, TBI has a TBI University, which provides training and development material for advisors. That’s important these days as companies want to buy from fewer vendors.”
TBI will be rebranded as AppDirect, although that’s more of a reflection of a strategic branding decision the company recently announced, where they brought together AppDirect and their AppSmart Brand, which was also part of the AppDirect platform but focused on different types of partners.
“TBI will be rebranded following our convergence, which formally took place last week, of AppDirect and AppSmart,” Bergeron said. “We have a lot of experience in integrating companies and this will guide our experience here.”
TBI was founded and led by Geoffrey Shepstone for over 30 years, and he will remain with the company.
“He will be a strategic advisor for the company,” Bergeron said. “He has a very progressive vision of how the industry is transforming. Their leadership team is also joining our organization.”
Bergeron said that while TBI will enhance AppDirect with the additional sales capability as well as TBI University, AppDirect will also bring clear long term benefits for TBI’s customer and partner bases.
“They now have advisors to a multi-category catalogue, including SaaS, IaaS, managed services and hardware,” she said. “Having access to this greatly expanded catalogue provides a unique opportunity for TBI advisors to be trusted advisors to their customers.”
Bergerson also emphasized that access to the AppDirect platform, which she called the best in the industry, will also be a major asset to partners coming in from TBI.
“The entire process of finding and buying solutions is powered by the platform,” she said. “We are a relationship-driven marketplace, and advisors are key. Bringing the best platform with relationship driven marketplace and commerce experience gives them a strong value proposition.”
AppDirect’s private ownership is also a bonus.
“In our industry there has been a lot of private equity ownership,” she said. “We are different, so we are not stuck on making short term decisions.”
CDPQ, a global investment group and investor in AppDirect since 2020, provided primary financing to AppDirect for this acquisition.